Border Metaphors in the Polish Sociology of Borderlands
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Polish Academy of Sciences
Publication date: 2009-06-30
Polish Sociological Review 2009;166(2):193–212
This paper treatises Polish sociology of borderlands (mostly Eastern) as the rich resources of metaphors of borders, especially national and political ones. It shows how these metaphors are linked to different sociological imagery—modern and postmodern. Its aim is to reconstruct analytical strategies and research projects from this sub-discipline, focusing on metaphors of borders. These strategies and projects are based on very different approaches to metaphors. The first operation is an instrument which the theoretician uses to reconstruct the theoretical typology of borders and borderlands. The second operation is a tool which the researcher uses to reflect more deeply on the empirical data concerning individual and collective reactions to borders and borderlands. The third operation is a narrative tool used by examinees who inhabit the borderlands. The paper provides a broad and intensive discussion of the functions of different metaphors about borders in relation to the different intellectual approaches to problems of borderlands and borders. It stresses the needs for equal treatment in Polish sociology of borderland problems of borderlands and problems of national borders. Especially emphasizes the positive functions of academic interest in borders metaphors in this scientific treatment. Generally speaking, this analyse enhances many links between sociology of borderlands and cultural anthropology and is closely connected to the question of where these intellectual operations on metaphors belong in the project of an interdisciplinary approach to borders and borderlands.